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We’ve been keeping some of Miss P’s toys stored in a cardboard box in the living-room. That way, she has some toys handy whenever she wants, and when I need to tidy up or vacuum I can just throw all the toys spread around the place in that box. It’s been really handy, saving me countless trips to her bedroom, just for her to bring the toys back to the living-room 5 minutes later. Practical, but not very sightly. I briefly considered buying one of those colourful plastic bins but good ol’ penny-pinching-plastic-hating me couldn’t get around to it so I came up with another idea. The cardboard box was great, it just needed a little bit of pretty-ing up. Easy Peasy!

Cardboard Storage Box 3 - Bis

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard Boxes
  • White Primer Paint
  • Acrylic Craft paint of the colour of your choice (I used ‘British Paint’ brand, bought in Bunnings – a 100ml pot was enough to paint 2 boxes, with 2 coats each)
  • Other acrylic paints of various colours to decorate
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Fusible (iron-on) interfacing
  • A small amount of Heat n Bound iron-on adhesive
  • PVA Craft glue

Cut the top flaps of the box out with scissors so you end up with an open-top box.

Paint your cardboard box with the white primer paint. Let it dry for 2 hours then apply 2 coats of the acrylic craft paint. Let it dry 2 hours between each coat.

To make the box easier to carry around or to pull from shelves, cut a small rectangle opening on the sides with a cutter.

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If you’re decorating your box with drawings and paintings, use acrylic paints. As you can see, drawing and painting is really not my forte. I tried to free-hand the first flower but that was a disaster so instead I made templates of the flowers out of a piece of A4 paper then traced them onto the box and painted them.

Cardboard Storage Box 1

When you’re all done and the paint is dry, apply a coat of transparent finish paint (British Paint does it in Gloss or Sateen finish) or some sort of sealing spray (which can be found in all craft stores). This will help sealing the paint and protect it.

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If you’re decorating the box with fabric scraps, first draw and cut out some template shapes out of a piece of A4 paper. Cut some squares and rectangles in your scraps of fabric and interfacing so they will fit the templates. Fuse the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric scraps then use your templates to cut the shapes. I found it easier to place the template on the interfacing side, trace around it, then cut along the lines.

Cardboard Storage Box 2

For the birds, I drew the eyes and beak with fabric markers. For the flowers, I fused a small rectangle of Heat n Bond to the back of white cotton fabric, cut small circles out of it to make the flowers’ centres, coloured them with the fabric markers then fused them on top of the flowers.

Cardboard Storage Box 6

When your appliqués are ready, apply some PVA glue on the back of them (on the interfacing side) and place them on the box. Let it dry for an hour or two.

Cardboard Storage Box 5

And that’s it. It’s a really easy way to transform simple cardboard boxes into cute storage boxes. You could also use different materials to decorate, gluing ribbons and trims for instance, or whatever takes your fancy. You could also paint the inside of the boxes to completely hide the cardboard look. Have fun! :)

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